Showing posts from July, 2018

Seven Years of Waiting is Enough for Landowners Near Wayne National Forest

From the Galion Inquirer: After seven years of inaction, private land and mineral owners adjacent to Wayne National Forest parcels have had enough of the bureaucratic red tape tying up oil and gas permits. As a result, several of them took their case to Washington, D.C.  Representatives from the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) and the Landowners for Energy Access and Safe Exploration (LEASE) met with Sen. Sherrod Brown, Sen. Rob Portman, Congressman Bill Johnson, Congressman Bob Gibbs, the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of the Secretary, and the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and Energy and Mineral Resources, among others.  Landowners are demanding the Bureau of Land Management Eastern States Field Office comply with multiple executive orders and permanent instructions directly from Secretary Zinke to move federal leasing and permitting forward and stop ongoing obstruction by federal bureaucrats, which

Analysts Say Chesapeake Energy Exiting Utica Shale Will Be Good for the Play

From The Columbus Dispatch: Loaded with debt, Chesapeake Energy was never able to fully take advantage of the 900,000 acres of land it controlled in Ohio’s natural-gas rich Utica shale region.  That’s about to change.  Thursday’s announcement that Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake is selling its stake in the eastern Ohio region for $2 billion to Encino Acquisition Partners figures to result in more production from a better-financed company that can invest in the region.  “We can’t grow the investment as we like, and that makes it a strong candidate for divestiture,” said Doug Lawler, Chesapeake’s president and CEO.  Seth Brooks, an analyst with the website, said the sale will benefit the region.  “It’s a good thing. You have Chesapeake going through a rationalization of its portfolio. They couldn’t go develop the asset the way they wanted to,” he said.  Matthew Hammond, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, agrees.  “Chesapeake dive

Rig Count Up for Second Week in a Row in Utica Shale

New permits issued last week:   5   (Previous week:  4 )  +1 Total horizontal permits issued:  2844   (Previous week:  2845 )  -1 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2382  (Previous week:  2374 )  +8 Total horizontal wells producing:  1930  (Previous week:  1929 )  +1 Utica rig count:  18  (Previous week:  17 )   +1 Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Second Lordstown Power Plant Project Still Facing Legal Battle

From Business Journal Daily : Should the majority owner of the Lordstown Energy Center reconsider and agree to invest in another project similar in scope eyed for the village of Lordstown, all legal matters affecting construction of a second electrical-generation plant there would be resolved.  So says Bill Siderewicz, president and CEO of Clean Energy Future LLC, which developed the Lordstown Energy Center and wants to proceed with development on a second, $900 million plant on adjoining land along Henn Parkway.  At issue is the Australian investment firm Macquarie Group, which Siderewicz accuses of attempting to quash the second project by refusing to allow the plant, named the Trumbull Energy Center, to be built on land Macquarie owns at the Lordstown Industrial Park. “They’ve stalled it for a year,” Siderewicz says.  He adds that Macquarie has the first right of offer to invest in the second plant, but has refused to do so. Instead, the firm has impeded construction of th

Ascent Resources' Big Deal Leads to Windfall for Two Ohio Counties

From WTOV : Two counties in the Ohio Valley have recorded the largest single-day transfer of assets in decades.  Belmont and Jefferson Counties are seeing a significant windfall thanks to a large purchase of natural gas resources.  Ascent Resources has purchased nearly $1.5 billion dollars of natural gas assets from CNX. Ascent Resources is acquiring land, leases, rigs and wells in a four-county area.  For both Belmont and Jefferson Counties, their respective county auditor offices confirmed Tuesday they have handled a combined asset transfer worth $365 million. In Jefferson County, the news is huge.  "This is the biggest transfer that I’ve witnessed in my entire career working here, and I do believe it is the biggest in the history of Jefferson County,” said Jefferson County Deputy Auditor E.J. Conn. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Investors Reaping Rewards for Investing in Oil When Times Were Tough

From CNN Money: When crude crashed below $30 a barrel, the debt-riddled oil industry was forced to beg for cash from Wall Street . Many cash-strapped companies survived the downturn by selling shares at a record-setting pace.  The oil industry is returning the favor now that crude has soared back to around $70 a barrel and companies are once again minting money. CEOs are sharing the windfall with shareholders through large share buyback programs and even some dividend hikes.  "Rather than take money off investors, they're giving it back," said Kris Nicol, corporate upstream analyst at consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.  Big Oil's reversal of fortune isn't just about higher prices. It's also a reflection of a vast technological advances that have made it cheaper to drill than ever before. US oil production has skyrocketed to record highs and exploding shale output from the Permian Basin could soon make Texas the world's No. 3 oil producer.   Not sur

President Trump's Plan to Resuscitate Coal Industry Could Jeopardize $900 Million Lordstown Project

From the Youngstown Vindicator: The day after becoming the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee in May 2016, Donald Trump made a promise at a campaign event in Charleston, W.Va.  “We’re going to put the miners back to work,” he said, as thousands of coal miners got to their feet. “We are going to get those mines open.”  Watching the speech on television, Bill Siderewicz was bewildered.  “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’” said Siderewicz, president of Boston-based Clean Energy Future LLC, which operates numerous gas-fired, wholesale electricity generation plants in Ohio and is bringing a $900 million natural-gas power plant to the village.  Lordstown Energy Center, located on a site in the Lordstown Industrial Park, is slated to be up and running next month, and Clean Energy Future has plans to invest a similar amount into building a second plant nearby.  An energy policy proposed by the Trump administration, however, could derail plans for the second Lordsto

ETP's Battle with Ohio EPA Over Rover Pipeline Rages On

From Reuters: Energy Transfer Partners LP said on Monday that state environmental regulators in Ohio were using a notice of violation related to the unapproved disposal of industrial waste to delay completion of the company’s Rover natural gas pipeline.  The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued the violation to Rover after the company deposited spent drilling mud containing low levels of a chemical solvent, tetrachloroethene, known as PCE, without approval, according to the EPA’s July 11 filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). PCE is widely used in dry cleaning of fabrics and the manufacture of other chemicals.  “Ohio EPA’s filing of the (notice of violations) with FERC was not for any legitimate purpose, but rather was an attempt to cynically use the commission to once again delay the completion of this necessary project,” ETP said in its filing with the federal regulator on Monday.  ETP has long said it was not the source of the PCE, which the comp

Anti-Drillers Lambast Loudonville Council for Selling Water to Cabot

From the Times Reporter: A dozen foes of the Cabot Gas & Oil drilling projects in the area assailed Mayor Steve Stricklen and members of Loudonville Village Council on their appearance of support for the company at the council meeting Monday.  The focal point of the comments was the village’s sale of water to the company, which is drilling a horizontal deep well in northern Green Township and which has sited two other projects, one at U.S. 30 and Ohio 511 in Vermillion Township and the other south of Jeromesville in Mohican Township.  Village Administrator Curt Young confirmed that to date the village has sold 650,000 gallons of water to Cabot, earning $4,358 in sales revenue. As with all water customers, Cabot is paying 0.65 cents per gallon of water, the highest amount the village will sell water for in its tiered billing process.  Asked by resident Dee Hinkle if the village could refuse sale of water to Cabot, Council Member Traci Cooper said “we can’t discriminate on wh

Ohio Farm Sues NEXUS for Erosion

From The Canton Repository: A farm has sued NEXUS Gas Transmission, saying the pipeline company caused erosion that damaged crops and washed away soil.  Oakway Farms filed the lawsuit July 10 in Stark County Common Pleas Court in Canton with a request for compensatory and punitive damages and attorney fees in excess of $55,000.  Attorney Michael Thompson said Oakway Farms went to court to protect itself, “but we also need to have a message that NEXUS can’t just decide to do what they want to do without regard to the property owners.”  A NEXUS spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing company policy.  NEXUS is building a 36-inch diameter pipeline that will carry up to 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day from the Utica and Marcellus shales to users in Ohio, Michigan and Canada.  The $2.1 billion NEXUS pipeline starts near Hanoverton in Columbiana County and will connect to existing natural gas pipelines in Michigan.  Pipeline crews have been working in

Long Ridge Energy Terminal Announces Completion of Rail Construction Project Creating the Appalachian Basins First Unit Train and Barge Transloading Facility

Press release: The Long Ridge Energy Terminal (“Long Ridge”) announced the completion of its rail loop track construction project, enabling the facility to take up to three unit trains of frac sand and other commodities at any given point in time.  This project was completed in response to the rapidly growing frac sand and natural gas liquids demand associated with the Marcellus and Utica shale in East Ohio and the West Virginia panhandle.  Long Ridge is the only terminal in the Appalachian Basin with both unit train and barge transloading capabilities, providing customers with best-in-class optionality for sourcing frac sand and other commodities.  In addition, Long Ridge has recently put into service a rail unloading pit, a frac sand conveyor belt system and frac sand silos with total storage capacity of 23,000 tons, and plans to commission a second barge dock in August 2018. About Long Ridge Energy Terminal The Long Ridge Energy Terminal is the Appalachian Basin’s leading m

Chesapeake Energy Sells All Utica Shale Assets in $2 Billion Deal

From Bloomberg: Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s agreement to sell shale assets in Ohio for about $2 billion boosted the natural gas producer’s shares as it moves to whittle down debt. The deal announced Thursday with closely held Encino Acquisition Partners is Chief Executive Officer Doug Lawler’s biggest in 3 1/2 years. After Chesapeake said almost all of the proceeds will be used to pay debt, its shares surged as much as 13 percent, the most in intraday trading since May 21. America’s third-largest gas producer has seen rough times as prices for the heating and power-plant fuel plummeted. The company, once valued at almost $40 billion and now worth just one-tenth of that, has been punished by investors for a debt load amassed by late founder Aubrey McClendon. The company has "under-performed because of legacy debt, legacy complexity and heavy gas-weighting," Lawler said in a telephone interview. Now, it has "transformed and is emerging as a very competitive growth story t

Rig Count Up One in Latest Utica Shale Report

New permits issued last week:   4   (Previous week:  1 )  +3 Total horizontal permits issued:  2845   (Previous week:  2843 )  +2 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2374  (Previous week:  2372 )  +2 Total horizontal wells producing:  1929  (Previous week:  1929 )  +-0 Utica rig count:  17  (Previous week:  16 )   +1 Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Acid Leaking from Truck Prompts Evacuation in Trumbull County

From WKBN News : The evacuation of about 75 people in 23 homes and two restaurants on Monday came out of an abundance of caution after a huge hydrochloric acid spill.  It all started when a person was driving by Predator Trucking -- located at 1775 N. State St. -- a little before 7:30 a.m.  "They got a big poof of smoke coming out of the back of their building," the caller reported.  The fire department was sent to the scene for what they thought was a structure fire. But once they got there, they quickly realized it was something else.  "It wasn't really smoke, it was vapor coming from the product that was being released," said Weathersfield Fire Capt. Raymond Knepper.  Firefighters encountered hydrochloric acid leaking from a 5,000-gallon tanker truck behind the building. Right away, they shut down 422 and evacuated people within a one-mile radius. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Earthworks Releases Air Quality Report for Noble Co., Ohio that Doesn’t Actually Include Any Air Quality Data

by Dan Alfaro, Energy in Depth Earthworks and Clean Air Task Force (CATF) released a new  “report”  this week on air quality in Noble County, Ohio (among others) that is based entirely on anecdotes and debunked anti-fracking talking points rather than recent  academic research and data  showing emissions near Utica Shale development are protective of public health. In a blatant attempt to alarm the public – and members of the media – the group relies on “Forward Looking Infrared” (FLIR) images as the basis of its report, a scare tactic it has employed repeatedly over the past several years. The ultimate red herring, FLIR videos and images are used to deliberately mislead the public on emissions from a variety of oil and natural gas facilities. Anti-fossil fuel activists have even admitted that their FLIR videos are  not backed by scientific evidence  of any sort. Most recently, an Earthworks operative attempted to use FLIR footage to paint Oklahoma’s oil and gas sites as spewing

Columbus Prepares to Vote on Anti-Fracking Initiative of Dubious Legality

From Columbus Underground : A local grassroots campaign to give Columbusites the “legal teeth” to fight air, water and soil pollution has garnered enough support to get on the November ballot.  Dubbed the Community Bill of Rights, the ordinance would establish local governance over oil and gas activities taking place within the City of Columbus. It’d also enable residents to hold companies liable for oil and gas activities in neighboring municipalities, should they harm the water, air or soil of Columbus.  The Upper Scioto Watershed, Columbus’ main water source, is home to 13 active frack waste injection wells, and an additional four are permitted there.  In the fracking, or hydraulic fracturing process, millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped through pipes deep into the ground (about 2,500 meters) and are then directed horizontally through the shale. The pressure creates perforations and fractures in the shale, releasing the natural gas trapped within. Whil

Big Oil Equals Big Paychecks, New Data Reveals

From Bloomberg: Move over Wall Street titans and Silicon Valley giants. When it comes to paychecks, Big Oil now looks like the best bet for U.S. workers. Spurred partly by the shale boom, the median pay for energy workers last year was $123,000, according to data newly mandated by the U.S. That topped all sectors, including utilities, tech and health care. While energy chief executives made an eye-popping 120 times more, the gap with their employees was still the second-smallest among all industries. What’s fueling this paycheck potency? First, a reliance on geologists, petroleum engineers and other highly skilled, well compensated professionals. Add to that the efforts needed to retain expertise -- and lure young talent -- after the recent oil price rout led to hundreds of thousands of job losses. “They had to retain critical employees at almost any cost,” said Bill Arnold, a former Royal Dutch Shell Plc executive who now teaches energy management at Houston’s Rice University. “Comp

Utica Rig Count Hits Lowest Point in Months on Latest ODNR Report

New permits issued last week:   1   (Previous week:  5 )  -4 Total horizontal permits issued:  2843   (Previous week:  2843 )  +-0 Total horizontal wells drilled:  2372  (Previous week:  2371 )  +1 Total horizontal wells producing:  1929  (Previous week:  1913 )  +16 Utica rig count:  16  (Previous week:  18 )   -2 The Utica rig count did hit a low point of 9 in June 2016, but since rebounding to a high of 28 in August of last year it has consistently hovered around 20.  Now it's trending back down again. The highest rig count we've seen during the shale boom was 59 in December 2014. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Follow @EnergyNewsBlog

Digging Deep Into 2018 1st Quarter Utica Shale Production Data

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has now released the production data from the Utica shale for the first quarter of 2018. As always, we are going to give you a look at how the numbers compare to past quarters, past years, and how they break down among the various drillers who are active in Ohio and the counties where they are drilling. We'll look at where the production numbers would end up for 2018 if they continue at the same pace as the first quarter. We also have the top 10 oil and gas wells detailed below. PRODUCTION RATE COMPARISONS First up, let's take a look at how the quarterly data compares from the 1st quarter of 2014 through the first quarter of 2018. As a reminder, all oil figures are 42-gallon barrels, and all gas production is measured in MCF: Total oil production dropped for the first time since quarter four of 2016, while oil production rates - both by the well and by the day - hit a new low since quarter one of 2014 (remember, prior to that t

Rogue Anti-Fracking Groups Use Independence Day for ‘Most Kid Friendly’ Protest Camp Ever

by Jackie Stewart, Energy in Depth Most Ohio families celebrated the Fourth of July with their children by participating in activities such as barbecuing, watching fireworks and taking in patriotic parades. But that wasn’t the case for everyone. Appalachia Resist! – the most rogue anti-fracking group in the state – gathered in Athens, not to celebrate the national holiday, but instead to train children in “workshop responsibilities” that included “jail solidarity, indigenous resistance, direct action, and pipeline construction/fracking infrastructure” obstruction. Sadly, this is  not the first time  this group ( and others ) have exploited children as part of their “Keep It In the Ground” cause, but it’s certainly one of the most extreme incidents, with these kids presumably forced by their activist parents to spend Independence Day braving Ohio’s record high temperatures for an agenda that very  few in the Buckeye State support . What’s more is that Appalachia Resist! once again